Various organizations and individuals have made great contributions to advance the project management profession over the past few decades. And as standards and methodologies continue to evolve, new tools and techniques are used to plan and manage all kinds of initiatives.
However, myriad approaches can take a toll on productivity and collaboration, since it’s hard to maintain consistency and a common language across frameworks.
Is project management evolving too fast?
The Project Management Revolution
“One size fits all” does not apply to project management. It’s common sense. So why was project management standardized in the past? Taking into consideration that project management initially was applied to large technical projects in their early stages, a command and control approach was the norm. Planning and management were centralized. The management style favored hierarchy and disincentivized creativity. A waterfall approach made sense, as the context of project management existed outside of the uncertainty and volatility that many projects face today.
Figure 1: “Traditional” projects based on past versions of the PMBOK® Guide (Microsoft Project template)
Things shifted as enterprise environmental factors changed. Agile approaches were developed to allow for shorter execution cycles and more frequent feedback. Individuals and teams started voicing their opinions, discussing best practices with a lean mentality to improve their work and results.
Figure 2: Agile projects (Microsoft Project template)
The project management revolution spread like wildfire. Project management is currently used in education, marketing projects, event planning, human resources initiatives, infrastructure megaprojects, and much more. It is part of daily operations in various industries, private companies, nonprofits, and the governmental sector.
As a result, a variety of approaches and methodologies were created to keep projects on target. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to define project management today.
Embracing Modern Project Management
Digital transformation and technology are catalyzing changes in organizational structures and enabling new capabilities by empowering individuals and teams.
To keep pace with the changes, modern project management evolved into a broad and general principle-based approach.
Figure 3: Disciplined Agile Principles
Principle-based approaches enable individuals and teams to choose what is best for their project according to its characteristics. From the perspective of processes, tools, and techniques, modern project management embraces hybrid combinations, which are powered by modern tools.
Modern project management must be supported by contemporary collaboration tools, intuitive and flexible task management, virtual workspaces, and more.
Figure 4: Collaboration hub and intuitive task management
Spurred by the global pandemic, organizations have recently taken remote work to another level. And individuals and teams must become more tech-savvy than ever to keep up.
How do you see project management evolving in the near future and how do you keep up with its changes?